Toronto-area Dead Heads and cannabis connoisseurs alike have a new destination to visit with the opening of a marijuana dispensary inspired by the seminal rock band the Grateful Dead. Founded by former securities lawyer David Ellison, the new retail store Scarlet Fire Cannabis Co. invites fans to experience the band’s magic while interacting with a team of trained cannabis experts.
“At Scarlet Fire, we wanted to create a customer engagement so different from what they are used to,” Ellison said in a press release earlier this month. “We start our customers on a journey and educate them. We’ve created a place where cannabis, music, magic and psychedelia merge.”
Ellison’s love for the Grateful Dead took a new turn when he attended one of the band’s shows for the first time at the age of 17. Reminiscing about the experience, Ellison said that he “tumbled down a rabbit hole big time that day.”
A Design With Dead Heads In Mind
Scarlet Fire incorporates Ellison’s love for the Grateful Dead in its retail concept by SevenPoint Interiors, a design firm specializing in cannabis dispensaries. From outside the shop’s front window, passersby can look through the Rabbit Hole, a series of portholes cut into bright scarlet panels to a circular backdrop of moving psychedelic images. Once inside, visitors are treated to a decor that includes Grateful Dead album covers, Jerry Garcia replica guitars, tour posters and T-shirts, including the first one Ellison bought at a Florida flea market when he was 16. SevenPoint Interiors creative director Desmond Chan says that the firm’s first step in a new design such as Scarlet Fire “is always listening.”
Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann performing with the Grateful Dead